Unsanitary drinking water is still the most prevalent cause of death in Nicaragua. Less than two miles outside of the few metropolitan areas, both water lines and plumbing end.
Water projects have a a great and immediate impact. Coupled with education programs on cooking hygiene and sanitation, they save thousands of lives every year.
Casa Unida uses several approaches to water projects:
Bio Sand Filtration Units
Our largest scale project to date was achieved partnering with Rotary Club via local chapter Rotary Club of Littleton, Colorado to manufacture, distribute, install and educate on the use of bio-sand water filtration units. The relatively inexpensive nature, durability, low maintenance and sub $80 USD price point makes a large scale program a tangible reality. Casa Unida provides the local footwork including labor recruitment, manufacturing, distribution, and education programs that will deliver over 275 bio sand filters by end of year 2013.
Municipal Water Utility Pipeline Extensions
The geography and transportation challenges in Nicaragua impose isolation of service in areas otherwise relatively near to public utilities. Pipelines to extend water service to villages are not only feasible, but cost effective in many circumstances. Casa Unida was able to finance a major water line extension from Somoto to Las Riojas – a distance of 3.5 miles. The result was clean running tap water to over 148 homes. Local laborers from the villages served were employed to trench and construct the water line, each taking responsibility for the construction and maintenance of sections from their home to the city junction.
Wells and Pump Units
Wells and pumps still serve as a useful way to provide water to villages more remote. Coupled with bio-sand filters, many times the resulting water is safer than city utilities. Casa Unida provides funds for the construction of wells and pump stations to serve villages in need. A good well when no other methods of water distribution exist will serve several remote villages and hundreds of homes. It is not unusual for rural Nicaraguans to walk several miles for the transport of water back to their homes in large buckets. Wells become community focal points. Good wells stimulate hygiene, agriculture, and family life.